Events like the Orlando shooting can generate strong emotions, especially in children.
These emotions can last a few days or weeks. The County of San Diego’s Deputy Director for Behavioral Health Services, Dr. Piedad Garcia, offers some advice on how to talk to children–and how to cope in general—with violent events like this:
Parents should be aware of their children’s responses and be ready to talk openly about them.
“Each child manifests their distress differently,” Garcia said. “It has to do with their age and their maturity, and what they see on TV also.”
It’s not essential to provide too many details. Parents should monitor how their children are doing and acknowledge that it’s OK to feel worried and sad.
Some children may complain of stomach aches, or not want to go to school. They may also want to talk about the incident. These are normal reactions to a stressful situation.
Limit children’s exposure to news media, smartphones or other sources of news. Hearing updates on the event or other aspects of the case is not helpful as it can create further apprehension for children.
“Constant exposure to information about an incident can generate more anxiety.”
Piedad Garcia, deputy director for County Behavioral Health Services
The media may show distressing images, but parents should emphasize to children that the event has ended and reassure them that they are safe.
Answer children’s questions simply, without dramatizing the incident.
Provide perspective to children, explaining to them that these incidents are not a common occurrence.
Provide emotional support. It may take minutes, hours or even days for the incident to affect children. When it does, provide nurturance (hugs, empathy, kindness, calm support) and ask about their thoughts and feelings.
Adults should be aware of their own stress levels and try to stay calm. Children look to their caretakers and parents for answers and a sense of security and safety. Adults should talk to another adult about what they’re feeling too.
Keep doing the day-to-day family activities together. Some children’s sleep, appetite and social interest may be mildly disrupted. If these problems persist more than a few days, contact your family doctor or the County’s Access and Crisis Line at (888) 724-7240.
At the County Access and Crisis Line, trained counselors are available seven days a week, 24 hours a day, to help people with issues such as depression, anxiety, anger or other mental health challenges. The number, again, is (888) 724-7240.
Helping Children Cope With Tragedy Related Anxiety
Children sense the anxiety and tension in adults around them. And, like adults, children experience the same feelings of helplessness and lack of control that tragedy-related stress can bring about. Unlike adults, however, children have little experience to help them place their current situation into perspective.
Each child responds differently to tragedy, depending on his or her understanding and maturity, but it’s easy to see how an event like this can create a great deal of anxiety in children of all ages because they will interpret the tragedy as a personal danger to themselves and those they care about.
Whatever the child’s age or relationship to the damage caused by tragedy, it’s important that you be open about the consequences for your family, and that you encourage him or her to talk about it.
Quick Tips for Parents
Children need comforting and frequent reassurance that they’re safe make sure they get it.
Be honest and open about the tragedy or disaster.
Encourage children to express their feelings through talking, drawing or playing.
Try to maintain your daily routines as much as possible.
PRE-SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN
Behavior such as bed-wetting, thumb sucking, baby talk, or a fear of sleeping alone may intensify in some younger children, or reappear in children who had previously outgrown them. They may complain of very real stomach cramps or headaches, and be reluctant to go to school. It’s important to remember that these children are not “being bad” –they’re afraid. Here are some suggestions to help them cope with their fears:
Reassure young children that they’re safe. Provide extra comfort and contact by discussing the child’s fears at night, by telephoning during the day and with extra physical comforting.
Get a better understanding of a child’s feelings about the tragedy. Discuss the tragedy with them and find out each child’s particular fears and concerns. Answer all questions they may ask and provide them loving comfort and care. You can work to structure children’s play so that it remains constructive, serving as an outlet for them to express fear or anger.
GRADE-SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN
Children this age may ask many questions about the tragedy, and it’s important that you try to answer them in clear and simple language. If a child is concerned about a parent who is distressed, don’t tell a child not to worry–doing so will just make him or her worry more.
Here are several important things to remember with school-age children:
False reassurance does not help this age group. Don’t say tragedys will never affect your family again; children will know this isn’t true. Instead, say “You’re safe now and I’ll always try to protect you,– or–Adults are working very hard to make things safe.” Remind children that tragedys are very rare. Children’s fears often get worse around bedtime, so you might want to stick around until the child falls asleep in order to make him or her feel protected.
Monitor children’s media viewing. Images of the tragedy and the damage are extremely frightening to children, so consider limiting the amount of media coverage they see. A good way to do this without calling attention to your own concern is to regularly schedule an activity–story reading, drawing, movies, or letter writing, for example–during news shows.
Allow them to express themselves through play or drawing. As with younger children, school-age children sometimes find comfort in expressing themselves through playing games or drawing scenes of the tragedy. Allowing them to do so, and then talking about it, gives you the chance to “re-tell” the ending of the game or the story they have expressed in pictures with an emphasis on personal safety.
Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know.” Part of keeping discussion of the tragedy open and honest is not being afraid to say you don’t know how to answer a child’s question. When such an occasion arises, explain to your child that tragedys are extremely rare, and they cause feelings that even adults have trouble dealing with. Temper this by explaining that, even so, adults will always work very hard to keep children safe and secure.
Encourage these youth to work out their concerns about the tragedy. Adolescents may try to down-play their worries. It is generally a good idea to talk about these issues, keeping the lines of communication open and remaining honest about the financial, physical and emotional impact of the tragedy on your family. When adolescents are frightened, they may express their fear through acting out or regressing to younger habits.
Children with existing emotional problems such as depression may require careful supervision and additional support.
Monitor their media exposure to the event and information they receive on the Internet.
Adolescents may turn to their friends for support. Encourage friends and families to get together and discuss the event to allay fears.
The Superintendent of GUHSD released a statement regarding the win of the boundary lawsuit. This statement seems to be a little contrite, considering that Alpine has been promised a high school for so long. To say that GUHSD can get back to what matters, seems to be a slap to Alpine. To say that they have much work to be done, their students have waited long enough is superfluous as Alpine students are their students, and they have waited over 30 years for a high school, and for the last 10 years a high school had actually been promised in the bonds.
Here is the statement that Ralf Swenson released:
After a thorough review of the evidence, Superior Court Judge Joel Pressman’s finding is that the Grossmont District wins on all counts and the $42 million preliminary injunction will be dissolved.
This is a win for the students, teachers and the taxpayers of East County, as our Governing Board can now resume their efforts to see that the taxpayer’s dollars are put back to work for the benefits of our schools and the students that we serve.
All students at all schools in our district should have classrooms and facilities that meet the current educational needs of those students, and that ensure their safety. That is what we have always focused on with both Proposition H and Proposition U – and that is what we will continue to do now that this lawsuit has been dismissed.
There is much work to be done, and our students have waited long enough.
Recently, The Alpine Sun ran a story, regarding the increased values of EMF (Electro Magnetic Force) on Alpine Blvd. It appeared in the February 4th issue, on page 19. In this story it was explained that two community members, Robie Faulkner and Michael Milligan have been monitoring the boulevard, where the Sunrise Powerlink has been installed. The EMF levels have increased dramatically, but it is to be expected that that would happen when one runs a Powerlink down the center of our community.
It has come to our attention, that the East County Magazine has picked up our story, and has created a fervor in Alpine by distributing a rewritten version and putting it out as an Emergency Update. On Facebook it is garnering attention, but unfortunately, many people are reacting not only with concern, but anger as well. In this week’s Ask Alpine, I polled people, and asked the question: What does EMF mean to you?” In the answers, only two people could answer with certainty that it was something to be exposed to in moderation.
Every electronic appliance that we ‘turn on in our homes’ emits a level of EMF. Every flat screen TV, every Computer monitor, every air conditioning unit, cell phone, and every cell phone tower. Currently, our society lives in a kind of soup of WiFi and EMF. However this is not to say that EMF in high levels can’t be dangerous, but as stated in our article we have to find substantiation as to which levels are unhealthy, as that information has yet to be definitively published.
EMF drops dramatically as you walk away from the source. So just as your parents said, “Don’t sit right in front of the T.V.”, or “move away from the microwave”, this is true of Alpine Boulevard. The businesses along the boulevard are distanced from the center of the boulevard. The inside of The Alpine Sun office was measured four years ago, and the levels were low. There are always levels of EMF when appliances and computers are present, so that would explain trace elements, and low levels of EMF.
In speaking with SDG&E, they are working on this issue, and we at The Alpine Sun will keep this community informed of any new information that is found.
Valentine’s Day is typically a day to show we care about the one we love, by giving a card, or small gift. Take time out for your significant other, and show them you care with something special. In Alpine we have many small specialty shops where you can find the perfect thing for that wonderful somebody. Or take them out to a special meal. When love is in the air, happiness is there too.
What the heck? I know that sometimes when we are in a hurry, and we are following a School Bus, and they pull over and start flashing their lights we really don’t want to stop, but really, it’s our responsibility to stop, it’s a safety issue, and IT’S THE LAW!
Also, when we are driving along Alpine Boulevard. . .Tavern Road. . .Harbison Canyon Road, we need to remember the School Zones are 25MPH. That doesn’t mean that when someone is following the speed limit law, impatient people can take the opportunity to pass in a NO PASSING ZONE, or even pass in the emergency lane. Both of these things happened today while I was on Tavern Road.
Please be aware that students are back in school, and that as drivers we need to acknowledge the school zones, and bus stops.
There are many everyday heroes all around us — teachers, firefighters, soldiers, volunteers working to improve our communities, and even the young man or woman who helped their fellow citizen carry their groceries. Daisy Tate, Executive Director of the Veterans Supplemental Support Network (VSSN), wanted to make sure these heroes were given the recognition that they deserve. She spearheaded an effort to get local and state governments to recognize September as “Heroes Month” to honor local everyday heroes from all walks of life for their selfless actions in the service of others. In 2013, Daisy asked her State Senator Joel Anderson to write a Senate resolution officially declaring September as “California Heroes Month.” Anderson introduced Senate Concurrent Resolution 97 in 2014, and it received unanimous support in the legislature. September since then has officially been declared “California Heroes Month.”
After the resolution’s passage, Anderson said “It’s important we recognize every local hero for their community efforts. These heroes and their good deeds inspire and encourage others to step up to help their neighbors in need. California Heroes Month is a magnificent opportunity to recognize the importance of selflessly giving and recognizing those local unsung heroes within each community. These heroes and their good deeds inspire and encourage others to step up to help their neighbors in need.”
If there is someone you would like to nominate to be recognized this California Heroes Month, Senator Anderson’s office encourages you to fill out the nomination form on his website at www.sen.ca.gov/anderson. Nominations are due by Sept. 30. If you have any questions, contact the district representative Collin Hoyos at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 619-596-3136.
By Nina Gould
For The Alpine Sun
Carolina “Cee” Gould, Alpine native, Chaparral Girl Scout Cadet, Steele Canyon graduate, is blazing a path for Alpine youth that may exemplify the old adage — “the sky’s the limit!”
An astrophysics major, Cee Gould, topped off a grueling sophomore year at UC Berkeley by accepting a coveted position as intern at NASA’s Goddard Center.
Working with a theoretical astrophysicist, Cee collected and compiled data on the galaxy, NGC 253, in an ongoing attempt to determine origin of gamma rays, levels of gamma ray emissions and how they impact Earth, and how, and if, gamma ray emissions correlate with the making of stars themselves.
Cee credits her love of space and the “yet unknown”, to the clear, Milky-Way-lit skies that shine above Alpines mountains. It probably also didn’t hurt that her grandfather helped build the lens to the famous Hubble Telescope!
In addition to hours of research and coding at Goddard Center, Cee had the opportunity to visit the capitol of the United States, Washington D.C. where she co-hosted a roundtable for the White Houses’ First Tribal Youth Summit, was present at a number of key Supreme Court rulings, including the landmark Marriage Equality case, and represented NASA at Congressional Headquarters where she petitioned for an increase in science funding. On the Fourth of July, Cee watched the celebration of the Country’s independence from the Washington Mall, sandwiched between the Lincoln Monument and the Washington obelisk, and, through the dog days of summer, kayaked the Potomac, became purposefully lost in the hallowed halls of the Library of Congress and.watched a light-saber-rattling baseball game as part of the National Astronomy Consortium in the Washington Nationals Ballpark.
Cee leaves NASA in August to return to Berkeley, where she will continue her undergraduate studies. This year she will also co-facilitate teaching a class on Space Exploration.
When asked about any advice for East County students, Cee shares, “Be inspired, inspire others and Think New Thoughts! It’s not a bad gig getting paid to go on adventures!”
So, heads up, Alpine! The sky IS NOT the limit. It really IS bigger out there, in the wide open air and Alpine, not only is a great place for seeing stars, it’s a great place for raising them.
This week’s Ask Alpine Question had a lot of people throwing out really interesting ideas. With the spark of idealism, from the Chamber of Commerce and their plan to light us the Boulevard, The Alpine Sun wanted to ask the community what they think. The Chamber of Commerce’s job is to create a healthy environment for commerce in the community, and as we know, Alpine has been foundering since the Sunrise Powerlink installation.
George Haughton has this to say:
Have open-air restaurants with live music in a section of town dedicated to tourist foot-traffic. Little gift shops with Alpine and California souvenirs would help. Maybe a jeep tour company to take people to Alpine vicinity attractions. As far off the interstate that Julian is, they attract a lot of tourists…what are they doing right. Also, check out Williams, Arizona and Sisters, Oregon…two big tourist spots in the middle of nowhere.
Reducing the speed limit through town would also help, along with some small motels, an oldies movie theater, and maybe advertising along the freeway.
The Alpine Sun is still under rennovation, but we are now enjoying our new floor! Stop by and see how great our office is beginning to look!
Nearly fifty Republican incumbents including some from Alpine are co-chairing a campaign kick-off fundraiser for Joel Anderson’s run for a seat on the Board of Supervisors. It is a compendium of Republican “Who’s Who”. I am a touch cynical, but I expect all of them agreed to sign-away their conscious on the application form when they requested the Party’s endorsement for their own elections. That’s “standard practice” too. Signing the form pledges to support the Party line – whether it makes any sense or not! But that should not be the sole criteria when politics really gets local.
No politician on this list – including the honoree – lifted a finger to combat the Sunrise PowerLink’s rampage through Alpine; from which Alpine has still to recover. Nor have any – with the exception of one that I know – been a part of the 10-year battle against Grossmont to get a high school for Alpine.
While those folks must now kowtow to the Party line to payback the Party for its endorsement of them, when the politics gets really local, it is quite fair to ask one question, “What have you done for us here at home?”
Alpiners know the impact of the two-year construction of the Sunrise Powerlink right through the center of town. There are the still empty store fronts reminding us! And take the high school as another example of local county politicians refusing to defend Alpine’s interests. Did you know that the taxpayers of Alpine are on the hook to pay perhaps $125 million over the life of Grossmont’s Prop H & U school bonds and never get the high school that Grossmont taxpayer/voters twice approved building and paying for?
Comments from incumbents and candidates that “it would be cheaper to hire limousines to take Alpine kids to Grossmont high schools would be cheaper than building a high school” don’t fly when Alpine is already paying for a high school that the Republican Party officially does not support. What then is the value of county political incumbents and candidates to the Alpine community? What value especially when by their inactions these folks actually broke Alpine’s rice bowl rather than filled it?
There is the argument that elections should not be based upon who best fills rice bowls; that at many levels across the nation candidates with ‘good policies and ideas’ ought to trump those promising more feeding at the public trough. But at the levels where the consequences of our actions at the ballot box hits us right in our homes, in our town, and where it most impacts our children, when it comes time to decide which candidate to support for local offices, should we not also weigh which candidates have actually worked hard and productively at filling our rice bowls?
We can start with asking which candidate has steadfastly fought against the PowerLink project; and which candidate has been steadfastly working in support of Alpine having its own high school?
We need to ask every candidate many times over, “Where do you stand on the local issues most affecting Alpine?”
George Barnett, Alpine
A registered Republican & conservative